A 41-year-old Healdton mother has been arrested by Carter County sheriff's deputies in a case involving the abuse of a small child.

Sheriff Milton Anthony said Christy Hall was taken into custody based on an investigation that began Monday.

"An eyewitness reported seeing Hall beating the child outside her home. The witness was very concerned, stating Hall had kicked the child in the stomach — a blow that knocked the child to the ground and then dragged the child by the hair," Anthony said.

An immediate investigation, led by Deputy Guy Handke, was launched. The inquiry led to taking the 5-year-old child into protective custody Monday. Department of Human Services Child Welfare workers were alerted and joined the probe. The sheriff said the child was taken to C/SARA where a medical examination confirmed injuries.

Hall was arrested without incident about midday Tuesday. She has reportedly made admissions concerning the abuse. Anthony said he expected reports to be turned over to the district attorney's office early today for a determination of charges.

In the meantime, other children living in the home have also been taken into protective services.

Anthony called the case tragic.

"There is simply no acceptable reason or excuse for abusing or neglecting a child. It is a tragic situation," he said. "No child deserves to be mistreated in any manner, and cases involving child victims receive top priority. Once we were alerted to the situation, we responded immediately. The bottom line is this — child abuse/neglect will not be tolerated in Carter County."

It is possible Hall could make her first appearance in Carter County District Court this afternoon. Currently, she is booked into the Carter County Detention Center pending both child abuse and child neglect charges.